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Birmingham’s Legion Field Could Host the World Cup in 2026

According to Bham Now, Birmingham’s Legion Field is being considered as a site to host games for the World Cup in 2026. The premier soccer tournament is the world’s largest sporting event.

ESPN FC outlined the process that the United Bid Committee uses to select the location of the games.

“Thirty-four cities in the United States, seven cities in Canada and three in Mexico are on the list of proposed locations to host games at the 2026 World Cup, the United Bid Committee announced on Tuesday.

The organizers will reach out to each of the cities on the list and those hoping to be selected will have until Sept. 5 to declare their interest.

Those cities will then have until early January 2018 to prepare their bid to become a World Cup host, if they make the initial shortlist, which is set to be announced in late September.

The organizers will reach out to each of the cities on the list and those hoping to be selected will have until Sept. 5 to declare their interest.”

Legion Field celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. Often called the “Old Grey Lady,” there has been talk of replacing the aging Birmingham stadium with a new one closer to the BJCC. This would provide Birmingham sporting events, especially UAB Football, with a new, lively location to play.

Birmingham and San Antonio are the only non-National Football League/Major League Soccer locations under consideration. Birmingham and the state of Alabama in general have not had the richest history with soccer. However, as we reported earlier this month, Birmingham is set to be the home of a new USL soccer team. The team would not begin play until 2019, but would be well established by the time the 2026 World Cup comes around.

With such a rich sports culture and the growing revitalization of the city, Birmingham has drawn the eyes of many national sporting events. In addition to providing a stadium to play in, each host city must ensure that they have adequate practice facilities, hotels, and base camp locations for teams, staff, and fans. They will also be evaluated on their commitment to soccer and the positive social impact the games could bring to the community.

Birmingham is no stranger to hosting large-scale sporting events. In 1996, the city and Legion Field made history when it became the site of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s opening game in the Olympic Soccer competition. The city also hosted practice facilities for the games that took place in Atlanta.

So will Birmingham place their bid to host the world’s biggest sporting event? We’ll have to wait to see!

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